Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[BAND PROFILE] Doremidan (ドレミ團)

Doremidan (ドレミ團)
(from virtual japan)

indies - active (2002 - )

Vocals: Makoto
Guitar: Ken
Guitar: Ryu
Drums: Reika
Bass: Shinji

Bass: Maya [2003 / 2004 - gone]
Guitar: Haruhi [2002 / 2002 - gone]
Bass: Ko-zi [2002 / 2002 - gone]
Guitar: Syuren [2002 / 2002 - gone - support member]

Doremidan may seem like just another visual kei band, but, because of their unique sound, they are incredibly refreshing.

However, it's quite hard to describe their sound since it changes regularly. One thing is for sure: Doremidan really likes to experiment with musical styles. Next to jazzy rock songs they like to use different kinds of rhythms in their songs. A tango-influenced song is no problem for the band, and neither is a reggae, jazz, or rumba-influenced song.

The band's name might sound unusual, and may even remind you of "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do", the French way of singing a musical scale, but it is not why the band chose this name. The band's eccentric vocalist Makoto explained in an interview that their name comes from the Beatles song Don't let me down, which sounds like "do le mi dan" when pronounced with a Japanese accent.
Doremidan started as a session band on the very first day of 2002. The original line-up was made up of Makoto (ex Brilliant Sugar) on vocals, Haruhi (ex Ove and Kahlua Rosette) on guitar, Ko-zi (ex Zenith) on bass and Reika (ex Madeth grey'll) on drums.

Since the band started as a session band, they mostly played songs from Haruhi's former bands. Then, as they made the decision to continue as a serious band instead of only a small project, they gradually started to change, and soon started composing their own songs.

One could say things were going rather well for the band, as they were able to hold their first one-man concert on December 12th. This was an important event for the band, but, unfortunately, not the only notable thing of the evening; both Haruhi and Ko-zi left the band on the same day. Around this time the band also had a support guitarist, Syuren, who disappeared along with the other guitarists.

Only Makoto and Reika remained and, with only two members, it was difficult to continue as a band. Therefore Doremidan took a small break and started to recruit new members. Also, with the departure of the previous members, they had lost not only their guitarist and bassist, but also their main songwriter.

It didn't take long for them to find new members. On the first day of 2003 the band was back with three new members, Ken and Ryu on guitar and Maya on bass, contra bass and occasionally other instruments such as the accordion. Both Ken and Maya became the new songwriters of the band and Makoto wrote the lyrics.

Their first release with this line-up was the maxi-single Shinshoku Doremi techou and, just as one could expect, their musical style was slightly different from their previous releases. The single was well received and the 3,000 copies sold out on the release date. This resulted in the need for a second press, which was released a month later. Various other releases followed, including several live-only singles.

Another goal was reached in June 2004 with the release of their mini-album, Retsujou Lullaby. The band had started as an independent band, but they released this mini-album on Nippon Crown Records, a major record label that includes Gackt, among many others, in their artist roster. With the release of Retsujou Lullaby it was obvious that Doremidan was developing further as they had experimented with several exotic rhythms and grooves. However, for some undisclosed reason, it seemed as if the band preferred to be independent as opposed to signed to a major label. They reverted to indie status soon after their biggest success up until that point.

In October 2004 the band started on a small one-man tour and was faced with trouble once again when Maya left the band following the final concert of the tour. A replacement was soon found and the young Shinji joined the band in 2005. Shortly after, they released their very first full album, Gekijou Shouroku.

The next two years passed by in the same fashion, with many performances and releases such as their second album, Kaleidoscope, which came out in the summer of 2006.

Unfortunately, the band was met with some problems again in August 2007. Due to Makoto's family circumstances, Doremidan took a break that spanned a number of months. Fans worried that this might mean the end of Doremidan, but this was, fortunately, not the case. In March 2008, they resumed activities, starting with a number of performances and the release of Onkai Chronicle, a best-of album. A few months later, they released their third full album, Yuugure Line, which again managed to stun the fans with its strong and diverse sound.

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